Tuesday, 30 December 2008

Michael Shields RIP

Please pray for the repose of the soul of Michael Shields, our Oratory sacristan for over thirty years who was found dead at his home. He had suffered angina for some time, and he has now been taken to his eternal reward. He was an Irishman of great patience and humility who was always at one's disposal and of considerable cheer. Never once have I known him to lose his temper, no matter the strain he was under during holy week and the great festivals.

Here he is at Lourdes in the wheelchair with us, the Grand Order of Babysitters. I would have been very surprised if I had been told then he was to go to meet his maker this Christmas: for despite his ill health he was very sprightly and active. May he and all the souls of the faithful departed through the mercy of God rest in peace. Amen.

Tuesday, 23 December 2008

Oratory Christmas music

Here is a list of the music we are doing in the Oratory choir for the midnight mass and the morning high mass of Christmas: as ever, a very busy period for us! On Boxing Day I usually collapse in bed with exhaustion from singing and over indulgence.


Kyrie & Gloria: "Messe de Minuit" Marc-Antione Charpentier (1634-1704)

Credo III Plainchant

Offertory Motet: "Hodie Christus natus est" Francis Poulenc (1899-1963)

Sanctus: Mass VIII "Missa des Angelis"

Agnus Dei: from "Messe de Minuit" Marc-Antione Charpentier

Communion Motets:
"Beata viscera Mariae Virginis" William Byrd (1543-1623)
"O Magnum Mysterium" Tomás Luis de Victoria (1548-1611)

Final Carol "Adeste Fideles" John Francis Wade's MS book c.1740)


Kyrie & Gloria : Miss Brevis in D Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (1756-1791)

Credo III Plainchant

Offertory Motet: "Resonet in Laudibus" Jacob Handl (1550-1591)

Sanctus & Agnus Dei : Mass VIII "Missa des Angelis" Plainchant

Communion Motet: "O Magnum Mysterium" Adriaan Willaert (c1490-1562)

Final Carol "Adeste Fideles" John Francis Wade's MS book c.1740

Voluntary: "Rhapsodie sur les Noëls" Eugéne Gigout

Saturday, 20 December 2008

What a joke...

For further details on what his Lordship Kieran Conry has said on the subjects of confession, sin, the environment and the extraordinary form of mass as well as other matters, please consult the posts of Fr. Tim and Fr. Zuhlsdorf. As for me, I think it would be best and most charitable to say no more.

Thursday, 18 December 2008

Happy feastday!

Today is a whole year since I started blogging, and now I think I should try to restart again properly after a long relapse. However up to now my present circumstances have been very draining on my energy and resolve...

Saturday, 8 November 2008

It never stops...

The last week has been absolute murder for me in the choir, and this is one reason I have not produced any posts! Immediately after the great Newman mass on All Saints, we had to do the six part Victoria Requiem on All Souls: but all was not finished! The following days we had two Missa Cantata Requiems with Gregorian chant propers for the 5.45pm mass, one for the deceased fathers and the other for the deceased benefactors of the Oratory. As ever, I'm expected to turn up to help out with the chant...

As well as that , I have had to produce special booklets for vespers of the Lateran Dedication tomorrow, and have them ready for our organist. Such are the joys of the Oratory choir and being choir librarian to boot. For those who have asked, the music before the introit at the great mass was Elgar's Ecce Sacerdos Magnus, a setting traditionally done at the beginning of a pontifical mass, an old favourite of ours.

Tonight we are having a concert given by Ex Cathedra the music of James MacMillan. Hopefully this shall give me a bit of a rest.

Saturday, 1 November 2008

Blogging resumed: All Saint's day

Well, after a very hectic month I feel up to restarting blogging again, which I had to stop due to various factors. Hopefully I will try to keep it up, but I do not guarantee daily posts.

Tomorrow in the Birmingham Oratory we are having a special All Saints mass for the translation of the relics of our Cardinal Newman, which will be celebrated by Archbishop Vincent Nicholls, attended by Princess Michael of Kent and broadcast live on EWTN. This is the culmination of a vigil since Friday when the relics of the Cardinal went on display, and we had have three sung pontifical English by bishops William Kenney and Philip Pargeter, as well as Cormac Cardinal Murphy O'Connor.

Mass celebrated by Cardinal Cormac

For us in the choir it will be very hectic as we are singing without a break from 8.30am to 1.00pm without a break! We are doing Mozart's Coronation Mass, Stamford's Beati Quorum, Justorum Animae both by Lassus and Byrd, Byrd's Gaudemus Omnes, as well as much else beside. Hopefully EWTN will repeat this, and so you will get a feel for the Oratory liturgy.

Thursday, 25 September 2008

Blogging holiday

Sorry folks: due to constraints on my time and energy at the moment I will have to take a break from blogging until November. However, I have not given up and may do the occasional posts in the meantime. So stay tuned!

Saturday, 20 September 2008


Here is a sex education comic, called 'Let's grow up with Nisha and Joe', aimed at six year old primary school children. It has been brought to our attention by Fr. Ray Blake:

It encourages young children to examine and explore their genitalia, showing naked children, and has been produced by the Family Planning Association. A pilot print run of 50,000 copies have been made for nationwide introduction. This is something that my good friend Jackie Parkes has gone ballistic about in the past, and will continue to do so in the future. But as for those who have produced this comic, the words of Our Lord himself seem particularly relevant:

It were better for him, that a millstone were hanged about his neck, and he cast into the sea, than that he should scandalize one of these little ones.

Thursday, 18 September 2008

Happy Birthday, Jackie!

Today my friend, neighbour and fellow blogger Jackie Parkes of Catholic Mom of 10 fame celebrates her birthday: so here is a short post to wish her happy birthday! Here is a recent photo of her looking very well.

Wednesday, 17 September 2008

New Blog

Lawrence England, a parishioner of Fr. Ray's has started a blog called That the bones you have crushed may thrill. Do give it a visit, as it looks very interesting!

Tuesday, 16 September 2008

Address of Benedict XVI to the French bishops

This is an address the pope gave to the French bishops in Lourdes on the first anniversary of Summorum Pontificem.

It is never too often said that the priesthood is indispensable to the Church, in the very own interest of the lay faithful. Priests are a gift from God to the Church. Priests must never delegate to the faithful [those] functions which are related to their own mission. Dear Brothers in the episcopacy, I ask you to remain desirous to help your priests live in intimate union with Christ. Their spiritual life is the foundation of their apostolic life. You shall exhort them gently to daily prayer and to a dignified celebration of the Sacraments, particularly of the Eucharist and of Reconciliation, as Saint Francis de Sales did with his priests. Every priest should be able to feel glad to serve the Church. At the school of the Curé d'Ars, son of your land and patron of all priests of the world, do not cease to repeat that a man can do no greater deed than to give the Body and the Blood of Christ to the faithful, and to forgive sins. ...

Liturgical worship is the supreme expression of priestly and episcopal life, and also of catechetical teaching. Your mission of sanctification of the faithful people, dear Brothers, is indispensable for the growth of the Church. I was prompted to detail, in the Motu proprio Summorum Pontificum, the conditions for the accomplishment of this mission, in that which relates to the possibility of using both the missal of Blessed John XXIII (1962) and that of Pope Paul VI (1970). The fruits of these new dispositions have already seen [the light of] day, and I hope that the indispensable pacification of the spirits is being accomplished, thank God.

I comprehend your difficulties, but I do not doubt that you will be able to reach, within reasonable time, solutions which are satisfactory to all, so that the seamless robe of Christ is not torn anymore. No one is excessive within the Church. Everyone, without exception, must be able to feel at home, and never rejected. God, who loves all men and wills that no one be lost, entrusts us with this mission of Pastors, making us Shepherds of His sheep. We can only give Him thanks for the honor and the confidence He places upon us. Let us endeavor to always be servants of unity.

Benedict XVI
Meeting with the Cardinals and Bishops of France,
Hémicycle «Saint Bernadette», Lourdes
September 14, 2008

Monday, 15 September 2008

Our Lady of Sorrows

Today is one of my favourite Marian feasts of the year, one which is particularly dear to me. Unlike most of the others such as the Immaculate Conception and the Assumption which focus on Our Lady in glory and power, this one focuses on Our Lady at her most human, and is intricately connected to the feast of her Immaculate Heart. It is a feast which tends to encourage a sober and unsentimental view of her, yet it is here when she is at her closest and most accessible for us.

The intercession of Our Lady of Sorrows is particularly relevant for those who have suffered failed marriages, broken homes and estrangement from their children. In her seven dolours she experienced all the pain of the married state. Let us call upon her help for marriage and the family, which is being attacked upon all sides.

Sunday, 14 September 2008

The Triumph of the Holy Cross

Today is the feast of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross. When we look around us, we see faith collapsing, the church falling apart and everywhere apostasy, dissent and rejection of the faith. But this feast tells us that death of Christ in his mystical body will lead to the church's resurrection in glory.

Indeed, all around amidst the church's collapse we are seeing signs of it's revival. Under the leadership of both John Paul II and Benedict XVI, the church has regained confidence and direction. Today is the first anniversary of Summorum Pontificem: what a difference has been made. And this year is the 150th anniversary of Our Lady's appearance saying: I am the Immaculate Conception.

Those who have hoped for the end of the Catholic church and her teachings are being confounded: heaven and earth shall pass away, but the Word of God shall remain for ever.

Saturday, 13 September 2008

We hate this hymn...

As I kneel before you,
as I bow my head in prayer,
take this day, make it yours,
and fill me with your love.

Ave Maria..

After having been forced to sing this hymn at Lourdes, and attracting considerable comment with my exasperation against it, I have decided to start a Facebook protest group! For those who like me can't stand it, it is:

We hate the hymn 'As I kneel before you,'

So if you are on facebook and you have had enough of it, do please join! My apologies to those who like this song; I loathe it!

Friday, 12 September 2008

The Holy Name of Mary

Today, September 12th, is the commemoration of the Holy Name of Mary. It originated in Spain in the sixteenth century, and was extended to the universal church after the victory of King Jan Sobieski of Poland in 1683 against the Turks in the siege of Vienna on that feastday. Through Our Lady's intercession, Europe was saved from Islamic domination. On a more personal note, the feast of the Holy Name of Mary is also the anniversary of the consecration of the basilica of Downside Abbey, my old school.

Why is the very name of Mary holy? It is because of her singular privilege of being conceived without sin, and being pre-redeemed by her son from the very moment of her conception. Far from detracting from the honour due to Our Lord, the incarnate word, she shows forth his great power: for all the honour due to her is from Him, and from Him alone.

In the liturgical reforms of 1969, the Holy Name of Mary was abolished from the calender, but in the last years of Pope John Paul II, by his personal intervention he restored the commemoration of both the Holy Name of Jesus and the Holy Name of Mary, for which we should be eternally grateful to him.

Thursday, 11 September 2008

I'm shattered...

Sorry folks for the lack of posts: I have been inundated at work! This morning I had to leave at half six in the morning, travel all the way to London for a two hour training session and have only just arrived home. Not unnaturally I'm absolutely shattered....

Tuesday, 9 September 2008

Salve Regina by Manuel Arenzana

Here is a setting of the Salve Regina by the Mexican composer Manuel Arenzana (1762 - 1821), a real gem of the very rich legacy of South American church music. This music is often performed at the Oratory by the ensemble Ex Cathedra.

Acknowledgements to Fr. Ray Blake.

Monday, 8 September 2008

The Birthday of Our Lady

Today's feast usually coincides with the beginning of the academic year after the end of the summer holidays, and indeed my first term in Downside School began on this date. On this day it would be well to pray for students and seminarians. This marvellous feast originated in the church in the East, and it is generally believed that the date was chosen as it was seven days after the beginning of the civil year in Constantinople, on September 1st.

Sunday, 7 September 2008

The Lourdes Grotto

I finish up this series of posts of the GOBS Lourdes pilgrimage with a few photos of mass at the Grotto, which was said by our chaplain Fr. Terence Creech C.S.S.R. We were given seats at the front row.

After mass we filed past the spring as a group.

Saturday, 6 September 2008

Trips out from Lourdes

As part the the GOBS pilgrimage, we usually make excursions out purely for fun. In previous years we went out to what is known as the Green Lake, a former quarry that has been converted in an amusement centre where there are water slides. It is great fun, but it was given a miss this year, much to my disappointment. Some of the group went out to St. Jean de Luz by the sea, but I decided not to go.

However as a consolation we made a trip into the mountains on a cloudy afternoon, where there were some toboggan rides, which I gladly partook.

Thursday, 4 September 2008

The Blessed Sacrament procession

On the penultimate day of our pilgrimage, our group turned out in force to join the Blessed Sacrament procession, which began at the Prairie and finishes in the underground basilica of St. Pius X.

Most of the group remained in the underground basilica for the procession, watching it on the screens. As I was carrying the banner, I had to go to the Prairie to join the other banner bearers, and as would be expected, everywhere was packed out to the rafters.

Here is myself, with the banner of a rather butch Archangel Michael guarding two children.

The blessing of the sick with the holy sacrament is a long established Lourdes tradition, and it is here that the great majority of miracles and healings take place. The liberal liturgical establishment have done their best to turn it into a celebration of the 'people of God', and many of the chants were focusing on worshipping Christ in the 'gathering of the people'. Some of our group were asked to lead some of the intercessions: here are two of us in yellow.

The underground basilica is a concrete monstrosity designed to accommodate the vast crowds, and has been likened to an underground car park. It could easily be converted into one. Here we all are gathered at the front:

Wednesday, 3 September 2008

Torchlight rosary procession in Lourdes

Every evening in the pilgrimage season a torchlit rosary procession is held at 9.00pm in Lourdes, where the rosary is recited publicly in multiple languages, interspersed with hymns, intercessions and various prayers.

This year due to the sheer number of pilgrims, it had to be rerouted and the size had to seen to be believes. Small groups lead the various nationalities, and one evening the GOBS were asked to lead the English group. Here we are getting ready:

So we gathered in the platform in the Praire grounds opposite the grotto in our yellows, and when our turn came, little Jacinta Parkes our youngest member said the rosary to which we answered. Unfortunately for myself we also had to lead everyone in singing that shocking hymn 'As I kneel before you,' which the rest of the group rather enjoyed. Perhaps Our Lady does have a sense of humour, or I was being made to do penance.

As for me, I had to resist the temptation to sing this version:

As I cringe before you,
as I hang my head in shame...

I will not repeat the rest, as it may cause considerable offense....

Tuesday, 2 September 2008

The Cite St. Pierre

In the hills immediately above Lourdes lies the Cite St. Pierre, which was founded after in the second world war by a priest as a hostel for poor pilgrims and refugees.

In it lies a chapel which is an exact replica of the sheepfold of Bartres, where St. Bernadette tended sheep for a year before the apparitions.

It is there that the GOBS have their benefactors and deceased members mass, as it has in the past brought many graces, miracles and conversions for us. This year they commemorated my late grandmother.

The centre is largely staffed by young volunteers and now receives pilgrims from mainly Eastern Europe and the third world. It is also a centre for the scouting movement, and at one spot, known as the Cathedral of the Trees, a rather rowdy charismatic renewal gathering was being held with great vigour and energy...

I was to later discover many of the participants in this were also staying in our hotel, and we to be treated to many more displays of enthusiastic songs and prayers before meals!

Monday, 1 September 2008

The Grand Order of Babysitters (GOBS)

The pilgrimage group I went with has the fascinating title of the Grand Order of Babysitters, (GOBS, or gob smackers?) and largely exists to take children and young adults, often of deprived backgrounds, on holiday and pilgrimage to Lourdes. Here we are at a grotto mass:

It originally started out in 1969 as a group of seven bachelors, under the direction of a redoubtable Margaret O'Rourke, who volunteered to look after the children while their parents went for a night out after a hard days work. This group gave themselves the title originally as a joke, and also later invented its trademark: wearing yellow. Here is myself in GOBS attire.

Sooner or later however, the group turned from being a practical joke into something more serious and substantive, and a full uniform developed: yellow smocks and white aprons for the girls, and yellow T-shirts for the men.

This year will have been my sixth trip with the GOBS, coming for the Lourdes jubilee after a lapse of five years. They are still going strong under its high priestess Maggie, and next year will be the GOBS fortieth anniversary.

Sunday, 31 August 2008

Lourdes' 1970's liturgy

One of the more negative aspects of this great shrine to the Immaculate Conception is that liturgically it is frozen in a time warp of the 1970's, as if Pope Benedict had never been elected and liturgical reform had been yesterday. Coming to the daily English mass in the chapel of St. Cosmas and Damian is a good example. The tabernacle is in a corner, often the celebrant does not wear a chasuble and the mass is more like an international 'gathering' where 'diversity' is celebrated.

In the Blessed Sacrament procession, some of the chants were about worshipping 'Christ in the gathering of the people of God' rather than in the Eucharistic presence: more about that in a later post. In the rosary procession in the evening many of the intercessions are packed with 'better world' and liberal social justice terminology, and barely a mention is made for the conversion of sinners and repentance: what Our Lady appeared for in the first place!

The liberal French bishops obviously have major a vested interest in Lourdes, as it is the most important shrine in France with a huge international following, and it is of great strategic importance for the liturgical establishment. Unsurprisingly the pilgrimage authorities have fought tooth and nail to prevent the Extraordinary form from establishing a presence. So much is their antipathy to it that when a bomb was planted in the underground basilica of St. Pius X by Basque separatists, the blame was at first pointed to the Pius X society!

Nevertheless, due to the massive pressure in the wake of Summorum Pontificem they have conceded a 1962 mass at 9.30am every Sunday in the Upper Basilica, which I gratefully attended. This is however barely advertised in the mass times, as merely a Latin mass.

The mass was a sung Gregorian mass with chant provided by French Benedictine monks on pilgrimage, and it was packed to the rafters. There was barely space for communion.

Saturday, 30 August 2008

Back from Lourdes

Phew! I have just arrived back in Birmingham from a very long coach trip from Lourdes with the Grand Order of Babysitters (GOBS), about 20 hours drive with only a few breaks. In case you were wondering, I did not gain internet access when I was there, partly because I could not find any, and partly because I was too damn lazy to do any posts. Nevertheless, I have a whole series of photos to show you in the jubilee year (150th anniversary) of the apparitions.

Thursday, 21 August 2008

Off to Lourdes tomorrow..

Tomorrow morning I join the Grand order of Babysitters for the marathon coach journey from Birmingham to Lourdes, and return on Saturday week. It is quite a trek, but it is great fun and I am returning to the GOBS after a 6 year lapse: I am much looking forward to this. Most of the children of Jackie Parkes will be coming along as well. I shall remember all of you in this anniversary year, as a special indulgence has been granted.

Wednesday, 20 August 2008

Bishop Patrick O'Donohue speaks out

Acknowledgements to Clerical Whispers

Roman Catholic Bishop Patrick O'Donohue of the Lancaster diocese in northwest England, has heavily criticised his fellow bishops of England and Wales for what he sees as a weak, "flat" response to many of today's moral crises, especially that of the radical homosexualist and anti-Catholic, secularist lobby.

A document is due to be published next week, in which O'Donohue calls on his fellow bishops to "rediscover" and fearlessly exercise their teaching authority in union with the Pope.

In the densely packed 92-page document, "Fit for Mission? Church", Bishop O'Donohue writes of the failure of the Catholic bishops of England and Wales forthrightly to face the issues of homosexual activism as a body.

He especially emphasizes his "disappointment that our Bishops' Conference recently could not agree on a collegial response to the Government's legislation on same-sex adoption."

"Attempting to arrive at a consensus among bishops with sometimes divergent views, Episcopal Conference statements and documents have a tendency to be often flat and 'safe' at a time when we need passionate and courageous public statements that dare to speak the full truth in love."

"I must admit that during my 15 years as a bishop I have increasingly come to share certain concerns about the relationship between individual bishops and the National Conference."

Bishop O'Donohue says he agrees with the warning of the 1985 Synod on the "necessity of limiting the authority of national Episcopal conferences."

The Bishop writes that the idea of dividing the areas of responsibility, such as education, liturgy and healthcare, among the bishops, has resulted in a "reluctance among the rest of the bishops to speak out on these issues."

He notes particularly that some bishops had reacted with "surprise" that he had dared to produce his own teaching document, "Fit for Mission? Schools", earlier this year.

"The effort to achieve a consensus" he says, "results...often in the loss of the 'scandal' and the 'folly' of the Gospel, so that we are no longer the 'salt' and 'leaven' so urgently needed."

"Confident, courageous and prophetic bishops [are] vital for the well-being of the Church during this time of increasingly aggressive secularism."

Citing the great 5th century bishop St. Augustine, Bishop O'Donohue calls for bishops to "re-exercise their individual teaching charism."

This rediscovery of the charism of bishops, he says, is needed to combat the loss of passion for Catholicism notable in many parishes and lay people.

"The passion to serve the Lord is noticeably absent in many cases - there seems to be at times a tiredness and reticence to preach the gospel." He says that in the course of the 16-month consultation in preparation for the document, he saw a "lack of confidence and knowledge of the Catholic faith."

He therefore calls for a revival of apologetics, the reasoned defence of Christianity, especially in the face of increasingly popular atheist polemics from writers such as Richard Dawkins.

In the document, produced as Bishop O'Donohue prepares to retire, he says that "Agencies and Commissions of national conferences" have failed to uphold the "fullness of the Church's teaching", particularly "doctrinal and moral teaching, in their collaboration with secular agencies."

"I'm thinking in particular of agencies with a responsibility for education or economic development. The staff of these agencies are often in a position to witness to the truth of the Church's teaching on, say, the theology of the body with its positive refutation of pre-marital sex, 'safe sex', or artificial birth control, in their dealings with government departments and committees."

Bishop O'Donohue does not name names, but many have made similar criticisms of the English Catholic bishops' overseas aid and development agency, CAFOD, that has insisted on promoting condoms as a means of controlling the spread of HIV/AIDS.

In another case, at least one Catholic adoption agency has opted to abandon its association with the Catholic Church to adhere to the government's requirement to adopt children to homosexual "partners."

When the problem of the Sexual Orientation Regulations and the Catholic adoption agencies arose in the news last year, it was revealed that many agencies held the policy of allowing children to be adopted to single homosexuals, and this with at least the tacit blessing of the local bishop.

Bishop O'Donohue's own suggestion for the Catholic social services agency was to have it adopt an uncompromisingly Catholic position and refuse to adopt to anyone who is not in a legal marriage.

In the document he criticises the administrators of Church institutions, saying, "There must be no back peddling on these issues just because certain truths are unwelcome in the corridors of power."

"We have talked too much and done too little. We have witnessed over the past forty years a growing crisis in the Catholic understanding or self-identity of the Church...Have we forgotten what it is to be Catholic?"

Hope for the future, he says, lies with the younger generation who are notably more interested in reviving the essentials of the Catholic religion.

"The maturity of the Pope John Paul II generation will lead, I hope, to a resurgence of orthodox, committed adults in the Church, gradually renewing vocations to the priesthood, religious life and marriage."

Tuesday, 19 August 2008

Gabriel García Moreno

Andrew Cusack has a most interesting biography of the great Christian statesman and president of Ecuador, Gabriel García Moreno. In this age of Tony's cronies and Gordon's brownies he is an exemplary model of a leader. His cause for beatification is in progress.

Monday, 18 August 2008

The Assumption Catafalque

The Transalpine Redemptorists in Papa Stronsay have a wonderful custom of erecting a Catafalque, or 'tomb' for Our Lady in dormition, in the triduum up to the Feast of the Assumption. This is very common in the church in the East, but not so well known in the west. Here are the photos.

Sunday, 17 August 2008

St. Mary and St. John, Wolverhampton

This church was the parish church of Fr. Guy Nicholls, and it was here he was baptised and ordained a priest. It is a very remarkable building that was erected in 1855 and celebrated its 150th anniversary in 2005, for which the Oratory choir came along.

For a number of years in the 1970's and 1980's it was in the care of the redoubtable Bishop Joseph Cleary of Cresima, auxiliary of Birmingham, and kept up a high standard of worship with sung latin liturgy. It then went into decline, but recently a group of Polish Paulist Fathers, who care for shrine of Our Lady of Jasna Gora have taken it on, and it has begun to revive. It is indeed in very good condition after restoration.

The sanctuary

Lady chapel

Chapel of St. Therese of Lisieux

Saturday, 16 August 2008

Fr. Guy Nicholls' Silver Jubilee

Today a special mass was held at the church of St. Mary and St. John, Wolverhampton, to celebrate the 25th anniversary of the ordination to the priesthood of our Fr. Guy Nicholls, priest of the Birmingham Oratory. He was ordained on the vigil of the Assumption, August 14th 1983. It was a solemn high mass in Latin, and we the Oratory choir came along to sing. In the meantime I took these photos from the choir gallery.

We sang the Missa O Quam Gloriosum by Victoria, Sacerdotes Domini by Byrd at the Offertory, and Mozart's Ave Verum along with the Gregorian propers for the feast of the Assumption. For us this is very easy and familiar bog standard Sunday music, and it was all a great sucess, with the acoustics of the church perfect.

The Gospel, and the Offertory, with Frs. Andrew Wadsworth and Anton Guziel as deacons.

After mass we has a reception in the parish hall, and we gave a toast to him on 25 years of priesthood, which coincided with the wedding anniversary of his parents. Fr. Petroc Howells told the story a three Staffordshire jurors who were deprived off the bench for being 'Popishly affected.' Well, may Father Guy remain equally so!

Here is a photo of him just recently ordained, wearing the same vestment as his silver jubilee mass.

Here also is one of the ordaining bishop, the late Bishop Joseph Cleary, a great and renowned Auxiliary of Birmingham who was also the parish priest, and from which I received my confirmation in St. Mary's, Harvington.

Ad multos annos!